GreatXscape intros two hour cut-off

Another free access ISP moves to curb abuse of the system

Mancunian ISP GreatXscape is in a tizz after being involved in yet another U-turn, sparking concerns that it is making up policy on the hoof.

After assuring PC Format last week that it had no intention of introducing a two hour cut-off for users of its toll-free dial-up service, it changed its mind faster than an indecisive kiddie in a sweet shop. The decision to limit the length of time people are allowed to stayed logged on at any one time is in line with other ISPs, including Screaming.net, and has been done to curb the abuse of the service by network hoggers. GreatXscapers are at liberty to reconnect immediately afterwards.

This latest strategy change came just days after it admitted a major cock up when it falsely announced it was set to cap the amount of free time users could spend online to just 20 hours a month. Initially, the cap applied to all GreatXscapers, but the ISP changed its mind, saying instead that it just applied to new subscribers signing up to the service.

Few people, though, accepted the excuse that it had mass-mailed its client base by accident and many believed it was just a ruse by GreatXscape to back-track on what quickly became clear was a dud move by the ISP. Unfortunately, GreatXscape's ops manager, Paul Dutton, wasn't available for comment today. Apparently, he's in Birmingham… the ISP has a stand at the Clothes Show. And before you ask… don't. ®

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